Batman: Damned #1

Writer: Brian Azzarello Artist: Lee Bermejo Publisher: DC Comics Release Date: September 19, 2018 Cover Price: $6.99 Critic Reviews: 40 User Reviews: 62
8.1Critic Rating
8.0User Rating

DC BLACK LABEL, the highly anticipated new imprint from DC Comics, starts here!
The Joker is dead.
There is no doubt about that. But whether Batman finally snapped his scrawny neck or some other sinister force in Gotham City did the deed is still a mystery.
Problem is, Batman can't remember... and the more he digs into this labyrinthine case, the more his mind starts to doubt everything he's uncovering.
So who better to set him straight than... John Constantine? Problem with that is as much as John loves a good mystery, he loves messing with people's heads even more. So with John's "help," the pair will delve into the sordid more

  • 10
    The Batman Universe - Paul Shanly Sep 19, 2018

    I've always looked forward to any book that pairs Azzarello and Bermejo but this book is so far shaping up to be something special, a book that makes use of the lack of the usual restrictions to tell a unique story. The bar has been set very high for DC's Black Label. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Comic Book Corps - Keith OneShot Sep 19, 2018

    Overall I can't say enough about how much I loved just looking at this book, there are several pages and panel's that are so breathtaking with detail that I desire to make posters ... Read Full Review

  • 10
    Dark Knight News - Adam Ray Sep 20, 2018

    The simplest way I can describe my take away from this story is that this is the single strongest comic, from any publisher, about any character, I have read this year. It is deeply remarkable and will be remembered in the conversation of one of the greatest Batman stories ever told. And it's barely started. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Comicosity - Londyn Jackson Sep 19, 2018

    Azzarello and Bermejo are a dream team in darkness when it comes to Batman and his mythology. Batman: Damned is going to become a classic noir that will be a harrowing essential to this characters history. Im excited to find out what happened to Joker, how will this effect Batman and will he and his partner Constantine make it through this strange ordeal on his home turf. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Impulse Gamer - Andrew Bistak Sep 19, 2018

    Wow! What an issue! Azzarello creates a gripping rendition of the Batman who is experiencing his own personal hell with a large taint of the supernatural. So while characters are familiar, Batman is a little off because he is experiencing something that he has not experienced before which is his greatest weakness. So while the mystery is never answered, Azzarello is building up for something big and when matched with the amazing art of Bermejo, this comic is like a piece of art. Bermejo also channels a touch of Gothic Art which makes the story even more compelling and his characters are flawless representations of their tamer DCU counterparts. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Horror DNA - James Ferguson Sep 25, 2018

    If this is what we can expect from DC Black Label, sign me up for every book that's scheduled. Batman: Damned is a top-notch comic, providing something new for a character that's been around for decades and I'm not just talking about his junk. Batman must not only investigate the murder of his greatest enemy, but he has to rule himself out as a suspect. That's something he doesn't have enough evidence to do just yet, so the great detective soldiers on along a path of madness and the supernatural. Read Full Review

  • 10
    You Don't Read Comics - Brandon Masters Oct 14, 2018

    Controversy and subsequent censorship aside, the team of Azzarello, Bermejo, and Fletcher have come up with what can honesty be called a work of art featuring Batman. If future new works under the DC Black Label are even half this good, this line has a good future. Read Full Review

  • 9.8
    The Brazen Bull - Charlie Chipman Sep 19, 2018

    Haunting and intense,Batman: Damned #1 is a damn-good comic book and an absolute must-read for bat-fans; a near-perfect debut. Read Full Review

  • 9.5
    GWW - Thomas Polito Sep 19, 2018

    This was a great start to bothBatman: Damnedand DC's new Black Label. The writing was stellar and the art was gorgeous, which made this a near perfect comic book. My only complaint is that the placement and coloring of Constantine's narration made it hard to read in some panels. This is definitely one of DC's best books in a long time. Read Full Review

  • 9.5
    AIPT - Chris Showalter Sep 19, 2018

    Wonderfully written by Brian Azzarello and stunningly illustrated by Lee Bermejo, Batman: Damned #1 is a terrific introduction to the horror series and DC's new imprint. Read Full Review

  • 9.5
    Geek Dad - Ray Goldfield Sep 19, 2018

    As the issue comes to a close, full of horrifying visuals and mysteries, it's clear that DC has a new line full of promise. If Black Label continues to explore the darker side of its heroes with this style and none of the cheap exploitation associated with many "mature readers" lines, DC could have something special here. Read Full Review

  • 9.2
    Fortress of Solitude - Sergio Pereira Sep 19, 2018

    Batman: Damned #1 takes no prisoners as it unleashed a dark and disturbing Dark Knight tale. Read Full Review

  • 9.2
    Comicsverse - AJ Zender Sep 20, 2018

    BATMAN: DAMNED #1 is an incredible opening salvo for DC's Black Label. While some of its nightmarish plot gets a bit confusing, the overall atmosphere, pacing, and art are absolutely incredible. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Major Spoilers - Stacy Baugher Sep 19, 2018

    This is a tale for adults, to be told when the lights are off and the darkness bleeds into your imagination. Highly recommended. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Big Comic Page - Jonathan Mullen Sep 19, 2018

    From the skilful writing to the truly award-worthy art this is masterful work. Give this a read because I have a feeling that we'll all be talking about this one for a long time to come. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Batman-News - Elena Carrillo Sep 19, 2018

    It's slick, it's heavy, and it's potent like that dark doorway you know you shouldn't go through. Go through it anyway. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Bleeding Cool - Rich Johnston Sep 17, 2018

    Batman Damned is an incredibly solid start, it poses plenty of mystery but grounds that mystery into the streets of Gotham and Bermejo is about 90% of the reason this comic works like it does. It sets a tone, an approach, a style that rather than making you throw it up in the air calling balony, encourages you to cheer along with its madness, and hoping that the guy steering this particular bus has a clue where he's going. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Flickering Myth - Grant Vance Sep 20, 2018

    The much referenced Bat-penis aside, there's a lot more to unpack in Batman: Damned. It hooks you from page one and doesn't let up until a visual gratifying, perfectly edgy final panel. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Epicstream - Brian McCormick Oct 11, 2018

    Published with a spine and a binding that feels more like a trade paperback than a single issue, you know DC is putting a lot of love into this Black Label series. Batman: Damned has all the makings to become a timeless classic. I’ve never read a Batman comic so close to equalling Batman: Year One. This issue comes pretty damn well close to it, if not for a few pages of narration. Azzarello and Bermejo have created something that could stand the test of time.  Read Full Review

  • 8.7
    Black Nerd Problems - Khadjiah Johnson Sep 20, 2018

    The writing style was phenomenal, but once a path is opened it could be more concrete. Even a broad path with many possibilities would help. I would love to see how each component introduced in this initial entry ties into the next one which comes out in November. This would push it away from the slight biographical stillness and towards a plot-centered format that used previous experiences and metaphors as tools for reader enlightenment. Read Full Review

  • 8.6
    Outright Geekery - Thomas Hulett Sep 20, 2018

    Overall I'm going to have to give this one 10 out of 10 Dr. Manhattans! Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    Bounding Into Comics - Matt Johnson Sep 21, 2018

    You can see that this series is set in the traditional beginning, middle, and end format. Batman: Damned starts it off well, making me wish it were monthly. The one thing I was less than hot on was the magazine sized format, because when I saw that it was prestige format I thought it meant the old prestige. Still it's a beautiful book and well worth the price. If this is what Black Label will be offering, I think it'll put up solid numbers in sales, and breathe a little life into some comics that might need it. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comics: The Gathering - Olivier Roth Sep 19, 2018

    This may be one of those comics that will read a lot better once collected but is already worth it to pick up just on the art alone as well as the intrigue generated throughout. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    DC Comics News - Christian Ruiz Sep 24, 2018

    DC releases dozens of Batman titles a year, and with that its easy to get lost in the shuffle. Batman: Damned will not be one of those lost, it easily stands out as a new and dramatic tale that thrusts the Dark Knight into a world he may know, but not understand fully, and that makes for an interesting take. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Multiversity Comics - Michael Mazzacane Sep 20, 2018

    Final Verdict: 8.0 " "Damned" may protest a bit too much to it's edgy sensibilities, but below the surface is a well put together darkly beautiful book about a haunted man in a haunted world. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Monkeys Fighting Robots - David DeCorte Sep 19, 2018

    Batman: Damned #1 feels like the beginning of a much broader story. I'm at a loss as to how this can be satisfyingly wrapped-up in just two more issues, but as they say, I'm in for a penny (or $6.99, in this case). Read Full Review

  • 7.8
    Graphic Policy - Logan Dalton Sep 22, 2018

    As shown in a scene where he's crouching naked in front of a Batsuit (A page or so after the famous full frontal nudity.), Batman is definitely in pain throughoutBatman: Damned#1 as he spends the entire comic trying to retrace his steps and figure out if he's responsible for killing the Joker. Brian Azzarello's incessant John Constantine is both parts annoying and hilarious, insightful and overbearing, but Lee Bermejo's gorgeous image composition and aforementioned Gothic grit make the first DC Black Label book worth a read. Read Full Review

  • 7.5
    IGN - Jesse Schedeen Sep 19, 2018

    Batman: Damned #1 delivers a flawed story bolstered by some incredible visuals and fun supernatural elements. Read Full Review

  • 7.5
    That's Entertainment - Capt. Nostalgia Sep 19, 2018

    Overall, Batman: Damned (Book One), leaves you with an intriguing story but more questions than answers. Returning to the heart of the prestige format stories, Batman ushers in a wave of fresh air. Azzarello is a Gotham City poet and leaves you wanting more. Bermejo crafts art for the book that will haunt your dreams as it balances museum art with the realism of life. Great start and interested to see where they go. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    On Comics Ground - Travis Tucker Sep 23, 2018

    This first issue of the series is a very strong start to what feels like is going to be one of the much darker arcs we've ever seen from Batman in a while. I gotta be honest with you readers, a little bit about me, I'm a HUGE metalhead. Not your hair band or hard rock type of stuff, death metal, blast beats pig squeals and a punch in the face. So I'm more than excited for this coming darkness, the art is a wonderful juxtaposing heretically biblical art with the Dark Knight was one of the smartest ideas ever. I'm a bit of a fanboy though. So go check it out. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Forces Of Geek - Atlee Greene Sep 19, 2018

    This first issue of Batman: Damned, from a narrative perspective, over promises and under delivers in regards to DC's Black Label format. The artwork, on the other hand, is a gripping visual experience that is worth the price of admission and might have worked better as a silent film on the printed page. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Flickering Myth - Gary Collinson Sep 16, 2019

    While its sure to split opinion and will no doubt leave some fans cold, Batman: Damned is certainly worth a look if for no other reason than to admire Bermejo's incredible artwork. Read Full Review

  • 6.6
    Outright Geekery - Antonio Pedro Sep 22, 2018

    Look, Brian Azzarello is a love him or hate him guy. If you're going to buy Batman: Damned, you were already going to do it, and if you're not than you weren't going to do it anyway. This book has great artwork but suffers from the try hard grittiness that plagues almost all of Azzarello's work. If it looks interesting, buy it but otherwise stay away, because, apart from the infamous Bat-Willy, it's a pretty dull book. Read Full Review

  • 6.5
    Comic Book Bin - Herv St-Louis Sep 23, 2018

    I was bored by this comic whose only reason to be special is the artwork and the pedigree of the writer Brian Azzarello. If it werent for these, the comic would not fare well with critics. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Weird Science - Jim Werner Sep 19, 2018

    Lee Bermejo's art is great here, but there isn't much of a story (yet?) and what there is can be confusing and even boring.  After the first fifty pages, we have a paper thin overall premise hiding behind some cool guest stars and again...that awesome art!  This is an interesting start to the Black Label line, but not the slam dunk success I was hoping for. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Critical Blast - RJ Carter Sep 25, 2018

    Convoluted narration, Zatanna (presumably) as a street performer, homeless people speaking in mispelled homophones ("...with my own TOO eyes!" How does that even equate to a different phonetic emphasis?) all combine to make BATMAN: DAMNED a hot mess of a story written by Brian Azzarello,jumbled up among beautiful pictures rendered by Lee Bermejo. Read Full Review

  • 6.0 - Chase Magnett Sep 19, 2018

    Batman: Damned is not so much read as relished, enjoyed for individual elements that do not add up to a stronger whole. That level of craftsmanship affords it the label of interesting, even if it would not ordinarily be categorized as good. Read Full Review

  • 5.0
    Newsarama - Matthew Sibley Sep 24, 2018

    The imprint's announcement stressed the idea of unique stories, only there's little ambition on display "" though there is a little full-frontal nudity "" just yet another story about The Joker and Batman. Read Full Review

  • 4.0
    Kabooooom - Matt Morrison Sep 19, 2018

    Batman: Damned is representative of its creator's core talents. Unfortunately, this means that Bermejo's beautiful artwork is pretty wrapping paper disguising the revolting cow-pie of Azzarello's bleak, lifeless writing. In the end, this book is damned awful. Read Full Review

  • 3.0
    Newsarama - Pierce Lydon Sep 21, 2018

    Coupled with missteps in the lettering stage, Batman: Damned feels like a misstep for DC's latest imprint, with this Black Label blotting out any originality in this overly bleak Elseworlds tale. Read Full Review

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